Sunday, February 19, 2006

Senai kilangu fry (ofcourse, with 1 tbsp oil)

Senai kilangu (Tamil) / Suran (Hindi/Marathi) / Elephant Yam(English)- whatever you call it and however you cook it, it tastes just delicious! Usually it is made into a crisp varuval (fry) as a side dish. Some people half-boil it and then deep fry it with masalas. I've seen some Keralite dishes use this yam in their kootu curries. Backhome, My mother makes a yummy Senaikilangu Varuval (fry). You might wonder why I keep writing about my mom, often. Yes, I love my mom's food and got this love for cooking from her. She's the one, who turned me into a foodie. That's why you keep seeing a lot of my mom's recipes here. Though my mom's recipe for Senaikilangu is the tastiest (No, she doesnt deep fry! She grinds some wet masala and adds it to the Suran and still get a very dry result in the end!), I just can't seem to replicate it. So, I tried to work around and concocted a simple recipe myself. I haven't seen fresh Elephant yam in US, so I just have to satisfy my tastebuds with the frozen ones at Indian grocery stores. This recipe is very simple and tasty. With fresh ones, it tastes even better!

Frozen Suran - 1 packet
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Boil 3 cups of water with the turmeric powder and add the frozen Suran. Half cook the Suran and drain this water. (I feel some of the nutrients are drained off when we drain this water, but then if I boil it with less water, which doesnt require draining, then the vegetable kind of irritates the taste buds on the tongue. So I boil the yam with lesser water and drain the water.)

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan or a nonstick pan, and add the suran pieces. Add the salt and chilli powder and stir slightly, coating the suran pieces with the masala. On reduced heat, cook the suran pieces till they turn golden brown.

19 comments:

Kitchenmate said...

Kay:
Wow that is a great picture!!

Chepankilangu tastes really best when it is cooked crispy. My mother-in-law almost makes similar version, adding paste made of coconut, jeera and snuf. Roast it to perfection, but she adds more that 1 tsp oil :)

Meena said...

hey Kay... this looks interesting...i've never seen it before! Could you let me know what it is called in english and hindi, and if possible what it looks like? I'd really like to know what it is am real curiuos to try it out.

Kay said...

Thanks Kitchenmate, Just got back from your new blog. Best wishes! :) Mom also makes a similar coconut-jeera-extra stuff paste and she uses more than my 1 tbsp - sure, it tastes wonderful! Now, if only I can replicate it!

Meena, This is called Suran in Hindi/Marathi and Elephant yam in English. You can get this in all Indian groceries (frozen section). Traditionally, it is cut into thin flat pieces, but right now, I just have to do with these store bought cubes.

BDSN said...

Hey Kay...

Just wanted to let you know that I have added two recipes of yours in my sideblog...

Lera said...

kay,never had this way before.looks good.:)

Garam Masala said...

Kay, I love this way of cooking suran/yam. I usually pressure cook suran with spinach leaves, mash and then add some tempering(urad, curry leaves etc) to it. Thats all I know to do with suran :-) This one is another quick way to use this veg.

And yes, there is no substitute for mom's food.

sailu said...

That picture looks good and cooked in 1 tbsp of oil?!WOW!

Anonymous said...

this is chenai kezhangu/suran/yam and not cheppakizhangu. Cheppakizhangu in hindi it is arby and taro root here.

Meenal Mehta said...

yummy ..this sounds really yum, wondering whether I can find suran here in the indian grocery stores in washington state

Kay said...

Thanks BDSN, Lera, GM (ofcourse, nothing can beat mom's food!), Sailu (yep, 1 tbsp oil, cooked in slow heat for long time), Meenal(you might, I found it here in NC)

Thanks Anonymous, I always get confused with Senai kilangu and Chepan kilangu... So, the bigger one is senai and tiny ones are the chepankilangu, huh? I'll correct the post. Thanks!

renuramanath said...

hi kay,
i chanced upon your blog through anthony's kitchen. elephant yams (chena in malayalam) are my favourites ! wow ! i can't tell how much i love them. the only problem being i can hardly clean and cut them myself, as my hands are terribly allergic to the raw vegetable. a liberal coating of salt helps, but then, its a big job.

so, what do i do ? make my mom, dad and my hubby dear cook 'chena' for me as much as possible !

i love it in all forms. these frys you've posted we in kerala usually make for a 'sadya' especially, birthday feast.

this is the basic ingredient for the malayali's famous 'kalan,' the buttermilk-coconut paste preparation for feasts. it can go into any curry, a sambar, a moloshyam, avial, theeyal, anything you say !

its also highly nutritious. the itching is caused by calcium oxalate crystals which break open while cutting.

Kay said...

Thanks Renu, I'm looking forward to read more about 'Kerala style' food on your blog. Love most malayali dishes! :) I've read some tips about preventing the itching sensation - You might want to use gloves - not that I'd be willing to use gloves, if I could get my husband to chop this veggie for me! ;)

Thanks for letting me know abt calciul oxalate crystals!

Holy Jalapeño said...

Kay, I love senai kilangu and whenever I go back home, sk-fry is my most requested dish!! Nothing like fresh crispy senai fry..yum yum. After lurking for a while, I have plunged into the food blogging world with http://holyjalapeno.blogspot.com. Check it out when you get a chance. Also, can I add your blog in my favorite blog list?

Kay said...

Welcome Holy Jalapeño! :)
Sure, you can add me to your fav. blog list. It would be an honor!

Reshma said...

Kay, lovely blog!
I didn't know senai or chena as we call it in malayalam is available as frozen too!thanks for bringing to mind an almost forgotten vegetable:)

Kay said...

Thanks Reshma! :)

Adaengappa !! said...

Hi,
This recipe is so simple..tried it..Yammy Yummy Yummy !!

U get an "adeeengappa" for your recipes !!

Interesting prep methods..Bookmarking ur site for future references..Thanks again !

Anonymous said...

Senai kilangu has oxalic acid.. which is what pricks your tongue. The best way to remove this is to boil it in water. The more you boil, the more of oxalic acid you remove.

It is a very good idea to boil and remove the oxalic acid as it is believed to bind with calcium in your body.

However.. please research more before you take my word for granted.

Anonymous said...

To reduce the irritation, just apply a little a coconut oil on ur hands before cutting the yam. For the masala, u can use coconut,jeera,red chillies,cinnamon,saunf,cloves.Grind this paste. Boil the yam,drain the water.Then in a kadai, add oil,mustard seeds,urad dal, then the grind paste. Fry for a while adding the required salt and add the cooked yam. Mix it well and there,u have a yummy curry/side dish ready for ur rice/chappathi.